March 31, 1880
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
|Died||June 7, 1936
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||heart attack|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)|
|Spouse(s)||Arthur Stringer (1900-1914)|
Jobyna Howland (March 31, 1880 – June 7, 1936) was an American stage and screen actress. Born to a Civil War veteran named Joby Howland who at eleven was one of the youngest enlistees in the conflict, and his wife Mary C. Bunting, she was given the feminine version of her father's name. Tall, regal and beautiful, Howland was another model for Charles Dana Gibson's famous sketching The Gibson Girl. Howland made her first appearance on the New York Stage in 1899 managed by Daniel Frohman. During her long theatrical career she apprenticed everything from drawing room farces to musical comedies always seeming to play the other woman, a best friend's pal or a distant cousin. She didn't achieve the kind of stardom of other beautiful actresses such as Elsie Ferguson, but was content to play the amiable and much needed support so vital in numerous Broadway productions.
In film she appeared in a scant few silent pictures alas in that medium could not use her booming, direct and distinct voice. When talkies became popular they were more to her calling. She typically played the kind of roles she had mastered on the stage, the domineering but dependable support. Fortunately for film buffs, Howland, now in her fifties, took to talkies better than she had silents and left several examples of the kind of performances she had become famous playing in the theatre. Her appearances in the comedies of Bert Wheeler & Robert Woolsey are some of her best known as the films of those two comedians lapsed into the public domain and were shown on late night television on numerous occasions in many markets for years.
Howland was married once to Arthur Stringer (married 1903) but the marriage didn't last and was dissolved (1914). As far as is known she bore no children. For many years up to the end of her life she was purportedly in a lesbian relationship with famed Broadway playwright Zoë Akins.
She was found dead on the kitchen floor of her home in 1936. Police said death apparently was caused by heart disease.
Her brother was character actor Olin Howland.
- Her Only Way (1918)
- The Way of a Woman (1919)
- Second Youth (1924)
- Honey (1930)
- The Cuckoos (1930)
- Dixiana (1930)
- The Virtuous Sin (1930)
- A Lady's Morals (1930)
- Hook, Line and Sinker (1930)
- Stepping Sisters (1932)
- Big City Blues (1932)
- Once in a Lifetime (1932)
- Rockabye (1932)
- Silver Dollar (1932)(*uncredited)
- Topaze (1933)
- The Cohens and Kellys in Trouble (1933)
- The Story of Temple Drake (1933)
- Meet the Baron (1933)(*uncredited)
- Ye Olde Saw Mill (1935)(*short)
- Who Was Who in the Theatre: 1912–1976 originally compiled from numerous annual editions by John Parker; 1976 edition by Gale Research Company
- Jobyna Howland; Internet Broadway Database, IBDb.com
- Works by or about Jobyna Howland at Internet Archive
- Jobyna Howland on Internet Movie Database
- Jobyna Howland portrait gallery New York Public Library, Billy Rose Collection
- Jobyna Howland at Findagrave.com
- Jobyna Howland: Broadway Photographs(Univ. of South Carolina)